By calling our attention to the Founders’ political theory of the family, Thomas West’s new book leads us to ask whether a secular theory of natural rights and natural law can sustain the moral ecology necessary for self-government. If a secular natural-rights republic cannot sustain the family, it would seem to be neither a good nor attractive political theory.
The contradictory reasoning of Justice Sotomayor’s Wheaton dissent exposes a glaring weakness in the legal argument requiring religious non-profits to comply with HHS’s regulatory scheme.
While we should reject misguided claims that our founders adopted political voluntarism, we should follow suggestions for strengthening civic life—and thereby sustain American liberalism—through local government, families, churches, and other civic associations.
Rather than reject liberalism for its excesses, we should take up the more modest task of recovering the principles of liberalism once embraced by our founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln.
Religious liberty litigation against the HHS mandate undermines the initial, reason-based arguments of religious objectors. Objectors would do well to refocus the debate on those arguments. The second in a two-part series.
Current lawsuits against the HHS contraceptive mandate may undermine religious liberty in the long run. Not all religious objectors to the mandate are likely to be exempted even if the lawsuits are successful, and judges violate the core meaning of religious liberty when they assess plaintiffs’ religious character. The first in a two-part series.